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Letters: Parents of hit-and-run drivers should do what's responsible

Parents of hit-and-run drivers:If a child commits a felony, what does the law dictate is the parents responsibility? When a driver flees from a hit and run crash, many will turn to their parents for help. And whether the advice the parents give is good, bad, or even borderline, criminal, society demands that parents hold their child accountable. Laws in every state require a driver involved in a collision, especially when someone is hurt, to stop. Most do. But some won't, turning an accident into a crime, hit and run, failure to render aid.

Thankfully, many parents acknowledge immediately their children's responsibility to society. While their instinct may be to protect their child, they also realize the victim is another mother's child and they dread the thought it could be their child laying in the street, rather than hiding in the back bedroom.

We have the right to demand those children, as well as parents, comply with our laws. The question is, what would you do if your child was a hit and run driver? The answer is easier than you may think. The answer should be no different than what you would expect if it was your child laying dead in the road?

Statistics:

•11 in 100 accidents are hit-and-run.

•Approximately, 1,200 families will lose a loved one this year due to hit and run driver.

•In 2005, 4,881 pedestrians were killed—974 of those were hit and run victims.

•In California, an average of 7.8 percent of fatal crashes are caused by hit and run drivers.

•60 percent of people killed by hit and run drivers are pedestrians.

In many states, an impaired driver who does not flee the scene of a fatality accident, now faces the possibility of a heavier sentence than their counterparts that may flee. From MADD's own Web site:

"Unfortunately, because hit-and-run crashes are punished less severely than alcohol-related crashes, we have given drunk drivers an incentive to flee the crime to try to escape having a BAC test done." If captured shortly after the accident, it is sometimes more difficult for prosecuting attorneys to prove impairment "at the time of the accident." For those who may fear I am giving away one of our legal systems dirty little secrets to the general public, I can assure you it is well known in drinking circles.

Carlene Lacy

(mother of hit-and-run victim Josh Lacy)

Crescent City

 

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